Technology and Disability - Volume Pre-press, issue Pre-press
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Technology and Disability communicates knowledge about the field of assistive technology devices and services, within the context of the lives of end users - persons with disabilities and their family members. While the topics are technical in nature, the articles are written for broad comprehension despite the reader's education or training.
Technology and Disability's contents cover research and development efforts, education and training programs, service and policy activities and consumer experiences.
The term Technology refers to assistive devices and services.
- The term Disability refers to both permanent and temporary functional limitations experienced by people of any age within any circumstance.
- The term and underscores the editorial commitment to seek for articles which see technology linked to disability as a means to support or compensate the person in daily functioning.
The Editor also attempts to link the themes of technology and disability through the selection of appropriate basic and applied research papers, review articles, case studies, programme descriptions, letters to the Editor and commentaries. Suggestions for thematic issues and proposed manuscripts are welcomed.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Dynamic exoskeleton orthoses provide assistance needed to complete movements that would otherwise be impossible after stroke. Beyond the demonstration of their effectiveness, the subjective experience of dynamic orthoses also needs to be considered. OBJECTIVE: To support functional recovery after stroke through the development of Hand-TaPS (Task Practice after Stroke), an instrument to evaluate dynamic hand orthoses in home therapy. METHODS: Dynamic hand orthosis subject matter experts (N = 14), professionals and consumers, considered the items of PYTHEIA, a valid and reliable instrument merging well-tested, assistive technology (AT)…assessment items with those tuned to the greater complexity of emerging technologies. Experts reflected on how each item aligned with their personal experience of dynamic orthosis use. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis guided identification of themes. RESULTS: Four themes (5/20 items) appraised highly relevant for Hand-TaPS. The remaining eight themes (15/20 items) were deemed in need of modification. CONCLUSIONS: Dynamic hand orthoses constitute a special case of AT; the assistance they provide targets therapy, not ADLs. Our work to develop Hand-TaPS provides a clear example of the theoretical difference between rehabilitative and assistive technology and underscores the importance of consideration of how a device is used in its assessment.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: A major concern that is being increasingly addressed in modern educational environments is the ability to present equal accessibility opportunities to students with neurodevelopmental conditions and disorders as for typically developing children. OBJECTIVE: The main objective of the paper is to employ innovative technological advancements merged with evidence-based practices in order to teach, improve and generalise social skills for children with neurodevelopmental disorders, specifically children with High Functioning Autism (HFA) as well as children with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). METHODS: The development of a personalized solution adapted to the needs of each…student is proposed. The platform will be composed of three main modules (Content Management, Emotional Analysis and Personalization). The target group is students of the Primary Years Program and Middle Years Program. EXPECTED RESULTS: Improved communicational and interactional capability of people with disabilities and facilitate social innovation; more affordable technologies and products that support interactions for people with disabilities, and new generation of services that are highly adaptable and personalisable to individual contexts. CONCLUSIONS: In order to achieve the optimum output/result of the system the procedure need to be implemented and reviewed by all involved parties.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Persons with conditions causing mobility impairment such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease (PD) and stroke (CVA) do not have accessible resources or programs that promote and sustain exercise engagement. OBJECTIVE: This study explored perceptions of fitness facility exercisers with MS, PD and CVA, and adapted fitness center trainers, regarding a decision support system (DSS), and its design and components, for promoting, guiding, and sustaining exercise engagement. METHODS: Fitness facility exercisers (n = 15) and adapted fitness center trainers (n = 5)…partook in semi-structured qualitative interviews. The interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. We applied thematic analysis and identified themes and sub-themes regarding perceptions, design features, and components of a DSS for promoting, guiding, and sustaining exercise engagement. RESULTS: All fitness facility exercisers and adapted fitness center trainers believed that a DSS would be a beneficial tool for exercise prescription and progression. There were concerns about individualization and safety, and participants felt that a DSS should include evidenced-based, disease-specific, and individualized exercise prescriptions as well as prescreening for contraindications and fall risk. The participants further reported that behavioral change strategies were desirable for promoting and sustaining exercise participation. CONCLUSION: The study results identified perceptions and desired features of a DSS for promoting, guiding, and sustaining exercise engagement among individuals with conditions causing mobility impairment. This information will guide development of a prototype for subsequent usability and feasibility testing.
Keywords: Decision support system, exercise, mobility impairment, exercise prescription